About Us - 175 Years of Photography
As part of the anniversary activities of “175 Years of Photography”, the Imaging Assocaition “Photoindustrie-Verband” has compiled a photo database with over 500 technical milestones of the photo and imaging sector. Together with the explanatory texts, a timeline is created which is being expanded successively. This database can be freely accessed at www.photoindustrie-verband.de. Christoph Thomas, the chairman of Photoindustrie-Verband, comments: “In the above manner, we want to highlight the enormous innovation strength of our sector to all users – with developments stretching from the very beginnings of our industry to the present day. We are doing our best, but given the wealth of facets in the history of photography it is simply not possible for the database to claim completeness. The items of information gathered here were made available by the respective photo and imaging companies who are also in charge of the editorial aspects.”
Since the invention of photography – on 19 August 1839 all its technical details were officially announced in Paris – near-countless technical milestones have shaped the photography landscape. These milestones are not only about image capture; they cover the entire photo and imaging workflow – from picture processing and handling to printing on a large variety of media.
The technical novelties that ushered in the age of modern photography from around 1880 included dryplates, amateur cameras using rollfilm, enlargers and fast shutters. All further innovations wanted to make photography suitable for the mass market. From the end of the 19th century, amateur photography was typified by so-called box-cameras. In the 20s and 30s of the last century, photography experienced what were up to then its greatest successes: with the invention of 35mm film and colour film. Next, the run of achievement brought ever new image capture devices like pocket or disc cameras, ranging to APS cameras. The triumph of digital photography began with the development of the first CCD chips in 1970. Meanwhile, digitalization has revolutionised photography and created a completely new environment.
The first digital photo was shot on
8 December 1975 on a digital camera weighing 4 kg that was built by
Steve Sasson, a 25-year-old Kodak staff member. The camera had
100×100 pixels and required 23 seconds to save the image to a
cassette. From the middle of the 1980s, the first commercially
available digital cameras appeared; they were known as still video
cameras. With the introduction of the first pro-cameras from 1991
onwards, digital photography increasingly gained importance. Compact
system cameras – which caused a sensation at photokina 2008
– were highly compact indeed, even though they involved